Playwright and University of the Philippines faculty member Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero pioneered in bringing theater out into remote provinces in the ’60s through the UP Mobile Theater. This was to afford his grassroots audiences with his kind of theater away from the academe.
The master playwright fed himself on his passion for theater until his retirement. Gurrero, who died on April 28, 1995, was posthumously distinguished as National Artist for Theater in 1997.
In paralled direction, Dr. Severino Montano of the then Philippine Normal College (now University) popularized his unique concept of Arena Theater, making use of drama as tool for education and developmental communication thru community theater. He got his due as National Artist for Theater, although belatedly as well.
During the dark days of Martial Law, theater maverick Rolando Tinio was showcasing and lording his own translation of Shakespeare’s classic plays at his Tanghalang Pilipino enclave at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP). He was bestowed the National Artist for Theater and Literature award albeit posthumously shortly after his death in 1997.
Caveat labors in noting down the historical antecedentts of the aforesaid iconic figures of theater in thisa country because Philippines Stagers Foundation (PSF) founder and director Vince Tañada is seen as a collective merging of his own contemporary brand of theater with that of his predecessors. Adding weight to his stature is his distinction as Philippine Movie Press Club (PMPC) Star Awards Best New Movie Actor in 2014 for “Otso,” directed by Elwood Perez.
Read the full article by George Vail Kabristante here.
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About the author(s)
Kathy Rowland is the Managing Editor of ArtsEquator.com, a registered charity that she co-founded with Jenny Daneels in 2016. The site is dedicated to supporting and promoting arts criticism with a regional perspective in Southeast Asia. Kathy has worked in the arts for over 25 years, working in the areas of critical writing and arts advocacy, with a special interest in media platforms for the arts. She is the Project Lead for ArtsEquator’s Southeast Asian Arts and Culture Censorship Documentation Project, launched in 2021. She has written extensively on censorship of arts and culture in Malaysia. She was a member of the International Programme Advisory Committee of the 8th World Summit on Arts and Culture, 2019.